I hate losing money (you too?). There are few things as frustrating as throwing money at advertising and seeing no impact on your customer base. Here’s the rundown on the first three months advertising my math tutoring startup.
- Method: Local Newspapers, Google adwords, Facebook Ads
- Cost: $15,000
- Timeline: 3 Months
- New Clients: 1
You read that correctly. I only gained a single new client from the ads. You could argue that we didn’t execute correctly or maybe it wasn’t the right channels. Regardless of why it failed, a small company can’t afford to spend and see no conversions. It was time for a change.
Advertisements aren’t the only way to advertise.
On January 25th, we hosted our first “Abamath Invitational,” a 90-minute math competition for middle school students. This gave me a great excuse to talk to the schools in the area and spread the word. On the day of the event, 8 potential clients and 5 current clients came to Abamath and had an awesome experience.
- Method: Math Competition
- Cost: $500 (including my time, employee time, and the computer)
- Timeline: 1 Month (including planning)
- New Clients: 4 and growing (already paid for itself)
Bonus: Kids from the area experienced math insanity, and the winner got a brand new laptop! I got tons of pictures for our website, and an excuse to build relationships and credibility with local schools. I also had the chance to plug our robotics league.
Give out free high-fives on a street corner, smash a car, sponsor a mission to Mars. Do anything! Companies like Red Bull have mastered event marketing! (anybody heard of Flugtag?) The good news is you don’t need to be Red Bull to pull off an event. This applies to any business, you just need to get creative.
The Bottom Line
Give an advertiser $15,000 and you can get a couple thousand views. Spend $15,000 on a pizza party, and you can get a couple thousand real people in your doors to talk to and interact with on a personal level.
Spend your ad dollars on awesomeness, not on clicks.
Luke Schlangen is the founder and president of Abamath: A Better Approach to Math